The Offset group is used to offset certain properties along a path. It is typically used with Offset Size when Taper Size is enabled (in the Path Generator or Paths from Masks group) to make it appear as if the geometry is moving along the path.
The Offset parameter controls how much a given parameter is offset along the path. This is like a master controller, as the following parameters are all offset by the Offset value when enabled.
- Offset Size: on by default, this causes the Offset value to offset the size of the geometry along the path. For generated paths or paths from masks, when Taper Size is enabled, animating this value creates the illusion of the geometry moving through the path. For paths from TAO lights with an animated Radius value, the radius size is used, creating the same effect.
- Offset Texture: causes Offset to also offset the texture.
- Offset Position: causes Offset to offset the actual position of the segments. Using Offset Size creates the illusion that geometry is moving along the path, when actually only the size is offset along the path. In some instances, you may want to use Offset Position to actually move the geometry along the path, such as when doing a slow offset with low-poly geometry. Note that when Offset Position is enabled, all other offset values should be disabled.
- Offset Color [TAO Light]: when using TAO Lights, this allows Offset to offset the keyframed color property along the path.
- Offset Rotations [TAO Light]: when using TAO Lights, this allows Offset to offset the keyframed rotations along the path.
- Loop Offset: check this to make the offset loop seamlessly. When creating a loop with the Offset value, each increment of 100 represents one complete evolution. For example, animating Offset from 0 to 400 will create 4 loops in the animation. Note that if the loop is not seamless, you may need to increase the final Offset value.
Offset Animation Sequence Offset Animation Sequence (OAS) is an advanced part of Tao where certain properties that are keyframed over time become mapped over the path. They can then be offset using the Offset parameter and also be offset automatically with TAO Lights Build-up mode. These OAS properties are keyframed over time in After Effects, and Tao places this animation sequence over the path. Because of this behavior, when OAS properties are animated, they don’t create any actual animation over time. Instead, the changes created by the animations are applied to the entire path at once, with where they fall in time determining where they are placed on the Tao geometry.
In the example below, OAS Color has been animated from red to yellow over the first 5 seconds, and the OAS Opacity value has been animated from 100 to 0 over the last 5 seconds. The OAS Duration [sec] value is set to 10 seconds, which means that the first 10 seconds of this animation are mapped over the full length of the path at once. So in this example, the left half of the geometry fades from red to yellow (because OAS Color has been animated over 5 seconds, or the first half of the OAS duration), and the right half fades out (because OAS Opacity has been animated over the last 5 seconds, or in other words, the second half of the OAS duration).
Because animating the OAS properties only creates a static result, we can offset the animated OAS changes over the path by using the Offset property in the parent Offset group.
Using the following Offset Animation Sequence features, you can achieve powerful and complex results with Tao. You can combine multiple OAS animated properties, and even alter the temporal interpolation of keyframes (for example, by using easing or the Graph Editor) to fine tune the results, as seen below.
- Activate Offset Animation Sequence: enables OAS.
- OAS Duration [sec]: sets the duration (in seconds) that will be sampled and mapped over the geometry. Can be set to a negative value to sample backwards in time, which can be useful for audio visualizations.
- OAS Size: sets the size of all segments over the path. Can be used to create custom tapering not possible using the standard taper controls in the path groups (see below). Note that OAS Size affects the size of segments as well as the Segment Pos properties in the Repeat Paths group. So if a path is repeated using Segment Pos X, this setting will make the entire geometry change size.
- OAS Size X: only changes the size of the path along the X dimension. Other than that, OAS Size X works just like OAS Size.
- OAS Size Y: only changes the size of the path along the Y dimension. Other than that, OAS Size Y works just like OAS Size.
- OAS Size Z: only changes the size of the path along the Z dimension. Other than that, OAS Size Z works just like OAS Size.
- OAS Pos X: changes position of segments. This works in the segments space, so if a segment’s orientation is altered (for example, by using Segment > Orient Along Path) the segment is moved in the oriented direction. For position transformations in the world space, use the OAS World Pos values (discussed below).
- OAS Pos Y: changes position of segments as OAS Pos X, but in the Y direction.
- OAS Pos Z: changes position of segments as OAS Pos X, but in the Z direction. Note that Z direction of an oriented segment is along the path.
- OAS First pop-up menu: controls the order in which the OAS Pos and OAS Rotate controls are performed.
- Rotation: processes OAS Rotate functions before OAS Pos functions.
- Position: processes OAS Pos functions before OAS Rotate functions.
- OAS Rotate X: rotates segments around their X axis.
- OAS Rotate Y: rotates segments around their Y axis.
- OAS Rotate Z: rotates segments around their Z axis.
- OAS World Pos X: moves segments in world space on the X axis. This could be used to create wind-like effects.
- OAS World Pos Y: moves segments in world space on the X-axis. This could be used to simulate the effect of gravity on the geometry.
- OAS World Pos Z: moves segments in world space on the X-axis. This could also be used to create wind-like effects.
- OAS Color: changes color of segments. This color is multiplied with any other applied colors (for example, using Material > Color or the Textures group). So leaving it at white means OAS Color will not affect colors.
- OAS Opacity: changes the opacity of segments. The opacity is multiplied with any other opacity adjustments in Tao. So leaving OAS Opacity at a value of 100 means OAS will not affect opacity.
- OAS Fractal: changes the segments’ Fractal Amplitude over the path. In order for this to work, the Fractal Displacement > Amplitude value must be set to a non-zero number.